|Aerial view taken soon after the first flight of AeroVelo's Atlas human-powered helicopter|
The AeroVelo Atlas is a human-powered helicopter (HPH) that was built for AHS International's Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition. On 13 June 2013, it became the first aircraft to achieve the goals of the competition and thus won the prize.
Design and development
AeroVelo, a team of students and graduates of the University of Toronto, began flight testing its Atlas quad rotor HPH on 28 August 2012. The core team of AeroVelo is the same group who created Snowbird, the first successful human-powered ornithopter. The Atlas is the largest HPH ever flown, and has a tip-to-tip rotor span of 154 ft (47 m), second only to the Russian Mil V-12.
The peak power of 1.1 kW (1.5 hp) was only generated during the first few seconds to climb to the required 3 metres (9.8 ft) altitude. By the end of the flight, power had reduced to 600 W (0.80 hp). Todd Reichert, the pilot and a racing cyclist, had specifically trained for such a power profile. The design specifically took advantage of the ground effect possible by the altitude required to win the prize.
On 13 June 2013, AeroVelo flew its Atlas HPH and submitted data from the flight to AHS International. During the 13 June 2013 flight, occurring at 12:43PM EDT, the team managed to keep Atlas in the air for 64.11 seconds, reach a peak altitude of 3.3 m (11 ft) and drift no more than 9.8 m (32 ft) from the starting point.
After its panel of vertical flight technical experts reviewed the data from the flight, AHS International announced that the flight had met the requirements of the competition and that AeroVelo had officially won the $250,000 prize on 11 July 2013.
Data from Aviation Week and Space Technology 15 July 2013
- Crew: 1
- Empty weight: 55 kg (122 lb)
- Gross weight: 128 kg (282 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × human , 1.1 kW (1.5 hp)
- Main rotor diameter: 4× 20.2 m (66 ft 3 in)
- Main rotor area: 1,282 m2 (13,800 sq ft)
- Service ceiling: 3.3 m (11 ft)
- "AHS Congratulates AeroVelo for Human Powered Helicopter First Flight!". AHS International. August 28, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- Sherry Shi (22 June 2013). "Snowbird Ornithopter Featured in Honda Commercial". AeroVelo. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- "Vertiflite, "Human Powered Helicopters Rise Higher"". AHS International. November–December 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
- "Aerovelo Team Wins Elusive Sikorsky Prize for Human-Powered Helicopter". Vertical Magazine. 2013-07-11. Retrieved 2013-07-17. "With a maximum diagonal dimension of 154 feet (46.9 meters), Atlas is the second-largest helicopter ever built, coming in behind the Russian Mil V-12."
- Matt Thurber (July 16, 2013). "Third-largest Monetary Prize in Aviation History Awarded". Aviation International News Online. Retrieved 2013-07-17. "The Atlas is the second-largest helicopter ever built–154 feet from rotor tip to tip–according to AeroVelo (the Mil V-12 is the largest)"
- Graham Warwick (July 15, 2013). "Canada’s AeroVelo Wins Human-Powered Helo Prize". Aviation Week. Retrieved 2013-07-18. "Atlas has a rotor diameter of 66.2 ft., total span of 153.9 ft. and disk area of 13,730 sq. ft.—making it larger than any production helicopter."
- "Technical Information". AeroVelo. Retrieved 2013-07-19. "The graph shows how the induced power is reduced in proximity to the ground, where h/R is the fraction of the height to the rotor radius."
- Graham Warwick (July 12, 2013). "Human + Helo - How AeroVelo Won the Prize". Aviation Week. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
- "U of T engineers make history with first human-powered helicopter". ctvnews.ca. July 11, 2013.
- "AeroVelo Officially Awarded AHS Sikorsky Prize!". aerovelo.com. July 11, 2013.
- Jason Paur (July 11, 2013). "Canadian Team Claims $250,000 Prize for Human-Powered Helicopter". Wired. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
- "AeroVelo Team Wins AHS International’s 33-Year-Old Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition". AHS International. July 11, 2013.